A symposium with Erika Alm and Ellie Nordfeldt, Katarina Bonnevier, Mathias Danbolt, Al Masson and Transmilitanta Brigaden. Facilitated by Mary Coble, Sara Jordenö and Carlos Motta.

The Empire of Love: Alternative Relationships and Other Possibilities

Activists, artists and thinkers will deliver performative presentations about the ways in which affective, emotional, love and friendship relationships are affected by normative approaches to equality and justice common to mainstream LGBTI politics internationally. In a time when sexual rights have largely come to signify marriage rights and a panoply of social benefits become available to those same sex couples that ratify their commitment in the eyes of the State, what forms of relating have been overlooked, ignored or declared illegitimate?

From a critical perspective accepting to the legalizing power of the State may jeopardize personal and collective freedoms in profound ways that influence society and culture, what are these consequences? How does one feel love? How does one experience heartbreak or loss? Are feelings also regulated by bourgeois normativity? Can a space of affective and critical resistance be reclaimed? Can we return to communality, marginality, promiscuity, broader notions of the family, non-binary relations, etc. as “respectable” ways of life? What is an alternative relationship? Are there other possibilities?

The presentations will be followed by an extended afternoon session of dialogue and collective brainstorming with participants and attendees.

The Empire of Love: Alternative Relationships and Other Possibilities is initiated by artist Carlos Motta in the context of his exhibition For Democracy There Must Be Love at Röda Sten Konsthall. The symposium is convened by Mary Coble, Sara Jordenö and Carlos Motta and organized by Valand Academy, Röda Sten Konsthall and The Hasselblad Foundation in Gothenburg.


Sunday, January 25 2015
11.00 – 17.30
Lunch will be provided


Valand Academy – Glashuset
University of Gothenburg
Entry through gate at Chalmersgatan 4
Picture: © Ester Fleckner – Untitled (2012)

Carlos Motta

Photography at Valand Academy